Fewer voters want the Washington Nationals to win the World Series than any other playoff-bound team, according to a new survey from Public Policy Polling. The Nationals, who clinched their third National League East title since 2012 last weekend, are supported by just 2 percent of likely voters questioned by the North Carolina-based polling firm.
The Chicago Cubs garnered the most support of any one team, with 21 percent of respondents wanting the longtime losers to win their first title since 1908; the Boston Red Sox, whose three World Series since 2004 is somehow not enough to satisfy their permanently aggrieved fans, were next at 15 percent; the Cleveland Indians, who have baseball’s second-longest championship drought, were third with 11 percent support; the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers got 8 and 7 percent, respectively. Thirty-six percent of people surveyed were unsure or supported a different team; wild-card teams in both the American and National leagues are still being determined.
The Nationals may already be suffering too much to notice the blow this poll delivers. Although they’re two games ahead of the Dodgers for home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs, the Nats are hobbling into the postseason: All-star catcher Wilson Ramos is done for the year with a torn anterior cruciate ligament; Stephen Strasburg, who hasn’t pitched since September 7 with an elbow injury, is likely to miss the series against the Dodgers; and Daniel Murphy and Bryce Harper have been benched in recent days as they recover from bumps of their own.
Still, Public Policy Polling wasn’t above jabbing the Nationals some more. “The Cubs may be what brings America together in the final month of this miserable campaign season—Democrats and Republicans alike are pulling for them to end the drought,” the company writes. “And another thing Americans can agree on across party lines is that Washington winning the World Series is their very last choice.”
The World Series question was asked in a broader poll of 933 likely voters about the presidential race after Monday’s debate between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. Clinton leads Trump, 49 percent to 45 percent, in a head-to-head matchup; their support drops to 44 percent and 40 percent, respectively, in a five-way race when Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, independent Evan McMullin, and Green Party nominee Jill Stein are included. Public Policy Polling, which is known for its cheeky survey questions, did not include Harambe, a deceased gorilla, this time.